The Hilborne Roosevelt organ in the main sanctuary was built in 1876 for the concert hall at the Chickering Piano factory in New York City. Hilborne Roosevelt was a first cousin to President Theodore Roosevelt. The concert hall was torn down near the end of the century, and the organ was placed in storage. Through a roundabout path, the organ was acquired by the brother of the then-Rector of Christ Church Glendale, Gilbert P. Symons. It was installed in its current position in 1911. With 40 ranks and 3000 pipes, the organ has been rebuilt several times, in the 1920s and again in 1941, having its rededication recital three days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Some upgrades were made in the late 1970s. A new console was added in 1995.
Our current organist of over thirty years, Bryan Mock, reports that there has always been the rumor, perpetrated by an erroneous nameplate on the organ, that our organ was Roosevelt’s Philadelphia “Centennial Exposition” organ. That instrument was also built in 1876, but is no longer in existence.